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Michigan State University

Geography Research Guide: Interlibrary Loan

Requesting Articles or Book Chapters

1. Verify MSU's holdings in our library catalog or use our A-Z listing of MSU's electronic journal titles. 

2. If the periodical you need is not available, you are ready to try interlibrary loan. Here's a few helpful hints:

  • Help us find exactly what you need by providing the ISSN. 
  • Note that some serials change titles one or more times during their publication history; make sure that the number you provide includes the years that correspond to your request.

To submit a request for a book chapter, follow the same procedure as you would to submit an article; choose "Book Chapter" from the left-hand side menu in ILLiad or, if you are a Distance User (>50 miles from Campus), use the copy option.

  • Each chapter requires a separate request.
  • In most cases, a library may provide a maximum of 2-3 chapters, or 50 pages. We reserve the right to cancel any requests that exceed a library's copying limit. If you need more than two chapters out of a volume, please submit a loan request and we will try to obtain the volume itself.


Borrowing from another library

MSU Libraries has several related services available to the MSU community for borrowing materials from other libraries.  MSU Libraries bears the cost of the following services; there is no charge to MSU faculty, staff, or currently enrolled MSU students.

Borrowing Books, Dissertations, Theses, Films, and other items: Unmediated and mediated

  • UBorrow is a new interlibrary loan option for obtaining materials from 12 major university collections, plus the Chicago-based Center for Research Libraries.  You can click through the library’s catalog to UBorrow when you fail to find something available, or you can skip the MSU Library catalog and begin your search on the Uborrow website.  You will need a user profile in ILLiad to place requests ( .   Search UBorrow and request the items you need . Most items arrive within five business days for a twelve-week loan period with one four-week renewal allowed.

UBorrow lending partners: University of Chicago,University of Illinois, Indiana University, University of Iowa, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Center for Research Libraries.

  • The Melcat service will borrow for you an item from one of approximately 370 libraries in Michigan.  If our records show that MSU Libraries either does not own the requested item, or our item is unavailable, then the request will be fulfilled automatically.  The computer will usually select the lending library from those available, which will pull the piece and mail it to the MSU Library or designated branch (if you select that option).  Melcat requests generally take 4-5 days though some are shorter and some longer.
  • If no UBorrow or MELcat library has the item you want available, then submit a traditional Interlibrary Loan*, which can draw upon the holdings of over 30,000 libraries.

 *At the Illiad login screen, create a profile for yourself if you are a first-time user.  If you forget your password, you may set it by contacting staff in the MSU Interlibrary Loan office.

Subject Guide

Kathleen Weessies's picture
Kathleen Weessies
Geosciences Librarian; Social Sciences Coordinator; Head, Map Library
MSU Libraries
366 W. Circle Drive W308
Subjects:Geography, Geology
Michigan State University